Initial consultation
I meet you at your property.  It is during this meeting I endeavour to fully understand your requirements and the scope of work involved with the project.  A brief from you is generally required.

Follow up letter and contract documents
After our meeting I draft up a 6 to 8 page letter outlining our discussions, the brief, what stages of the design process are required, my fees, and the various consultants that will be required and the timing of the design process.

A short term contract is drawn up.  We both sign the contract and each page of the letter.  You are then given a copy for your records.  A deposit is paid and then I get underway.

Concept and developed design stage
This stage of the design process is the most important as we must be sure to get the best floor plan possible.  This stage generally involves:

  • Complete site measure
  • Measure the walls and windows of each neighbour
  • Get boundaries surveyed by registered surveyor
  • Confirming with local Council any restrictions and have a 'property information search' completed.
  • Obtaining current certificate of title
  • Obtaining drainage plan
  • Draft up the existing floor and site plan
  • Draft up a proposed floor plan and send these to you for consideration
  • Alter floor plan as/if required and/or until the proposal meets with your requirements
  • Draft up elevations/views showing roof lines along with exterior doors and windows
When the floor layout and elevation drawings have been approved and 'signed off' by you we can then move on to the next stage which may be with the Town Planning Application.

Town planning stage
I usually send the drawings (completed to date) to the planners for a 'preplanning assessment' to get their comments and to see if there is anything in the design that will definitely create a problem for them.
The plans/drawings completed to date are then marked up showing additional information such as:
  • Significant trees
  • Shading diagrams for 9am, 12noon and 3pm determined and detailed
  • Full site and building dimensions
  • Demolition plan and scope
  • Outline of neighbours walls and positions and heights of windows
A letter to the town planners is drafted explaining the existing site and neighbourhood conditions.  It also explains the proposal and how the proposal will/may affect the house, the immediate neighbours and the neighbourhood as a whole.  A letter along with the drawings, the certificate of title, drainage plan and completed application form are sent to the Town Planning Office.  As you are aware they may disagree with aspects of the proposal and therefore alterations to the drawings may need to be made.  If/when Town Planning has given approval we can then move on to the next stage which is the completion of the working drawings and associated documentation.

Working drawings stage
This is the 'stage' where the drawings and specifications are completed.  These documents give far more detail and show the works as a whole.  These documents are used to obtain a building permit.  They are also used by the builder, his subcontractors and suppliers to put together prices/quotes for the work outlined in those documents.
Generally the drawings/plans will consist of (and some of these will have already been completed):
  • Full site plan showing drainage to street and also positions of neighbours windows
  • Existing floor plan
  • Proposed floor plan, fully dimensional
  • Sectional views
  • Full elevation views, list of finishes
  • Electrical layout (i.e. smoke detectors, lights, power outlets etc.)
  • Sewer and drainage details (listing and proposed)
  • Any specific construction details including foundation details where required
  • Exterior door and window schedule, interior door schedule
  • Full laundry joinery drawings (i.e. detailing positions of drawers, cupboards, appliances)
  • Full kitchen joinery drawings (i.e. detailing positions of drawers, cupboards, appliances)
  • Full bathroom and ensuite drawings (i.e. detailing positions of fixtures and fittings, tile layouts)
  • Decks or paved areas
  • Screens, water tanks etc.
The specification (often up to 65+ pages) provides further details on materials and finishes along with specifying parts of the Acts and Codes which will apply to the project.

Building permit
When all of the documentation is completed it is then given to the building surveyor along with the documentation obtained from the various sub-consultants to apply for a building permit.  Your builder's insurance details must also be given to the surveyor.

Builder's quote
These same documents are also given to the builder to quote from.  The more information provided in the plans and specifications the more accurate the quote(s) will be.

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